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CyberArts X Conference Photo Album
Presented by CyberArts International and Ylem

Galen Brandt's speech (from Vancouver) for CyberArts

Galen Brandt

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Good morning.

If this past Tuesday had been like any other Tuesday, if planes had not screamed out of the sky leveling buildings and killing thousands, then I would be here with you now, speaking, as Bob asked me to, about where we have been, separately and together, these past ten years, and where, together as a family, we are going.

Listening to and watching our community all day yesterday from Vancouver, I can see where we have been. With our usual passion, brilliance and determination, we have been creating the future ­ in particular, the future of media. We have been creating not just the shape of the world, but of equal importance, the way we and others will see and communicate our visions of that world.

This is an enormous responsibility, one we must undertake with our hearts and spirits as well as our skills and minds. As Michael Gosney noted so aptly yesterday, our image of the truth becomes the truth.

So I ask you, the members of our great family of media communicators: when you leave here, if just for a few minutes, turn off your television and with its constant talk of “America Under Attack” and “Operation Noble Eagle” and “America At War.” Turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to these flag-waving, drum-beating jpegs and slogans. Turn off these images of fear and rage and revenge.

Instead, just for those minutes, take a walk outside, somewhere beautiful, in a garden, under a night sky, by water. Open your heart and remember the words not of Colin Powell, but of an educational warrior, His Traubness, David Traub: “We must create media that fosters, above all else, health, knowledge, self-esteem, friends, hope, love, spirit. We must create technology that enables humanness.”

Ask your heart: what does this technology look like ­ this humanizing technology? I say it is the technology of the human heart itself, and of the human spirit. I say we need not vengeance, but vision….not revenge, but resolution…..not partisanship, but prayers for peace. As long as we believe war is an option, we will be terribly, tragically right.

Martin Luther King said: “We must remember that darkness can never overcome darkness and hatred will never overcome hatred. Only light can pierce darkness, only love can soften hatred, only peace can defeat violence.”

Remember Bruce Damer’s story about SkyCity? Thirteen-year-old Brian and his new friends from around the world built a city in the sky. That city was partially destroyed by two kids who believed, in their ignorance, that destruction is “cool.” Brian and his friends voted not to further destroy the city of their dreams, but instead to recreate SkyCity, even more heautiful than before ­ and together, they did.

Together, we in this room can create SkyCity, and it can be real and shining. We can create images of hope and peace and trust, and they can be real, too. It is up to us ­ as communicators, as shapers of worlds virtual and real, as humans.

These desperate days call for desperate acts of faith. Let them begin here, in this room, in our hopes and in our hearts.

As Yogi Berra said: “They say it can’t be done….but that doesn’t always work out.”

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